Comfort Cravings

How to soothe yourself without food—and how to eat healthfully and mindfully

One Simple Way to Cope with Chocolate Cravings

Which type of chocolate might help you cope more effectively with cravings—M&Ms or Hershey Kisses? This study gives you the answer and one simple action that might help you cope with cravings. Read More

I use the trick of keeping my

I use the trick of keeping my chocolate treats in the freezer at work. So any time I want to grab a piece of chocolate, I need to leave my desk, go the the kitchen, grab the chocolate out of the freezer, unwrap it, and then enjoy it slowly since it's still frozen!

Thank you!

I love this tip! Thank you for sharing it.
Best,
Susan

Best way to cope with

Best way to cope with chocolate craving? Eat chocolate. :-)

Personally, quality matters to me. I get much more satisfaction from a quality chocolate than from cheap crap, so to me the foil isn't the only reason the hershey kiss is better; it's because an M&M is barely chocolate anyway, and has that nasty shell. Ask people to choose between M&Ms and high end luxury chocolates in a box, and I bet they'll mostly choose the latter, and will find it more satisfying, and will eat less of it, because it is much more rewarding than than a handful of crap.

The wrapper is not only a barrier, it also piles up and makes a visual reminder of how much you've had. It's just plain embarrassing to cover your desk in chocolate wrappers in a matter of moments.

Another simple yet powerful way to cope with cravings

Energy psychology techniques such as EFT (also known as tapping), in which one taps lightly on acupressure points while repeating a statement, are enormously effective for helping people overcome emotional food cravings. One woman with whom I worked was bingeing on chocolate nightly. In one session, she held a piece of chocolate in her hand and rated how high her craving for that chocolate was on a scale of 0-10. She said that if she could given a number higher than 10, she would have. After a few minutes of tapping, her craving had dropped to a 3, and finally to a zero. I told her it was okay to go ahead and eat the chocolate , but she said she didn't want it anymore and we went on to discuss other issues The piece of chocolate remained on the seat next to her. About 15 minutes later, she stopped the session and said "I have to tell you that normally, one part of me would have been thinking about that chocolate sitting next to me the whole time we were talking. I'd be wondering when and if I could eat it, how you'd react. The amazing thing is that I just realized that I had completely forgotten it was there there. That's never happened to me before." At the end of the session, I again offered her the chocolate, but she did not want it. The next week, I asked how she had done, and she said she had experienced no desire to eat chocolate. Three months later I checked in again. "I've had chocolate a couple of times but it no longer sets me off," she said, " I enjoyed the chocolate while I had it, but that was it. I can't believe this is me."
The incredible thing is that this story is not unusual. While not everyone overcomes food cravings as dramatically as the woman I described, energy psychology techniques like EFT have the power to eliminate food cravings rapidly and with long term results in ways that continue to amaze me. There are videos on Youtube which demonstrate the technique. You can heck them out.

"Tapping" on "acupressure

"Tapping" on "acupressure points".....sure.
Got any actual scientific studies to back up this claim? That would be much more useful than a youtube video.

tapping research

There are now many peer reviewed studies on EFT in traditional psychology and medical journals (see http://www.eftuniverse.com/research-and-studies/research) but here are two that specifically address cravings:
A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Meridian-Based Intervention for Food Cravings with Twelve Month Follow-up
Peta Stapleton, PhD, School of Medicine, Griffith University
Teri Sheldon, Lakeside Rooms – Submitted for publication and in peer review

Abstract

Objective: Food craving was hypothesized to be an important intervening causal variable in the development of obesity. This randomized, single-blind, clinical trial tested whether Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) reduced food cravings in participants under laboratory-controlled conditions.

Method: The study involved ninety-six overweight or obese adults who were allocated to the EFT treatment or 4-week waitlist condition. The waitlist condition received treatment after completion of the test period. Degree of food craving, perceived power of food, restraint capabilities and psychological symptoms were assessed pre- and post- a four week EFT treatment program (mixed method ANOVA comparative analysis), and at 12-month follow-up (repeated measure ANOVA with group data collapsed). Paired comparisons between time-points were undertaken using post hoc tests. The Bonferroni correction was applied for multiple comparisons.

Results: EFT was associated with a significantly greater improvement in food cravings, the subjective power of food and craving restraint than waitlist from pre- to immediately post-test (p<0.05). Across collapsed groups, an improvement in food cravings and the subjective power of food after treatment was maintained at 6-months and a delayed effect was seen for restraint. Although there was a significant reduction in measures of psychological distress immediately after treatment (p<0.05), there was no between group difference. Across collapsed groups, an improvement in food cravings and the subjective power of food after treatment was maintained at 12-months, and a significant reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI) occurred from pre- to 12-months.

Conclusion: EFT can have an immediate effect on reducing food cravings, result in maintaining reduced cravings over time and impact upon BMI in overweight and obese individuals. This addition to weight loss/dietary programs may result in assisting people to achieve and maintain reduced food cravings and lose weight.

Keywords: food, cravings, restraint, weight loss, body mass index, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).

The Effect of a Brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Self-Intervention on Anxiety, Depression, Pain and Cravings in Healthcare Workers
Dawson Church, PhD & Audrey J. Brooks, PhD
Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, (2010), Oct/Nov (in press).

Abstract

This study examined whether self-intervention with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy that combines a cognitive and a somatic element, had an effect on healthcare workers’ psychological distress symptoms. Participants were 216 attendees at 5 professional conferences. Psychological distress, as measured by the SA-45, and self-rated pain, emotional distress, and craving were assessed before and after 2-hours of self-applied EFT, utilizing a within-subjects design. A 90-day follow-up was completed by 53% of the sample with 61% reporting using EFT subsequent to the workshop. Significant improvements were found on all distress subscales and ratings of pain, emotional distress, and cravings at posttest (all p<.001). Gains were maintained at follow-up for most SA-45 scales. The severity of psychological symptoms was reduced (-45%, p<.001) as well as the breadth (-40%, p<.001), with significant gains maintained at follow-up. Greater subsequent EFT use correlated with a greater decrease in symptom severity at follow-up (p<.034, r=.199), but not in breadth of symptoms (p<.0117, r=.148). EFT provided an immediate effect on psychological distress, pain, and cravings that was replicated across multiple conferences and healthcare provider samples.

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Susan Albers, Psy.D., is a psychologist who specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns and mindfulness. 

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